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Chrome 70 beta takes another step towards killing the password

Hot on the heels of celebrating its 10th birthday, the Googlers behind the Chrome browser are still intent on pumping out new features for the web browsing masses.

The latest beta for Chrome 70 advances Google’s desire to kill off character-based passwords by adding fingerprint support as a means of logging into websites.

In the latest beta, Google is leveraging the fingerprint sensor on Android phones and the Touch ID sensor on compatible MacBook Pro models via the Web Authentication API. With the setting enabled, users will see a pop-up asking them to verify their identity in order to log on to websites that work with the Web Authentication API.

Related: 15 essential Google Chrome add-ons and plug-ins

This will apply to the entry of passwords, but also when a website is seeking other sensitive information like shipping and credit card information from users.

Elsewhere, Google is trialling the Shape Detection API, which makes it easier for Chrome to detect items within images like faces, barcode and text.

“A short example will give you a taste of these APIs, all of which work in a similar fashion,” Google writes on the Chromium blog. “The code below finds all barcodes or QR codes in a given image and prints their values to the console.”

Earlier this week Google said it was giving the www. and other prefixes from web URLs a stay of execution following user outrage at their disappearance. Google now says it wants to have a proper discussion about the fate of www.

“In Chrome M69, we rolled out a change to hide special-case subdomains “www” and “m” in the Chrome omnibox,” said Google Chromium product manager Emily Schecter. “After receiving community feedback about these changes, we have decided to roll back these changes in M69 on Chrome for Desktop and Android.”

Are you keen to see the www. disappear from the URL bar? Are you looking forward to the demise of written passwords? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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